42 Draft Designs Downpipe Review

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42 Draft Designs had a Holiday sale that went on November through Jan 2, and it was 10%off plus free shipping. I didnt order mine till Dec 25, because I was still debating if I should get a downpipe or not. Lets face it euro aftermarket parts are kinda pricy. But when one my friends bought a downpipe for his GTI, and having a downpipe would allow me to get a stage 2 chip tune I decided to take advantage of the sale. 42 Draft Designs is a made to order company and it took 7 days to make mine before it was shipped then I just waited 4 days for the shipping. I paid $436.50 for mine, which is a good deal considering i would have paid $508.64 without the sale! There are other options you can select if want a cat or resonator. My downpipe is non resonated and with a high flow cat.Image

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Every time I receive a package I feel like Im opening up a present haha. The 42 Draft Designs downpipe is very good brand and the quality is superb. I did buy adaptors from them previously (I wrote about that on my old articles if you wanna check it out) and I really like the brand. With the downpipe you also get the nuts and bolts, and high quality gaskets that you need to replace when you remove the OEM downpipe. The bends are mandrel bent and the welds are…. well just look at it! Its almost like art and the craftsmanship is perfect and for the price its a bargain!  Other branded downpipes are in the $500 and up range. Yeah there are “eBay brands” but for a downpipe (which is required for a stage 2 chip tune) quality matters!

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The next day, after a really busy night in the ER, I just wanted to work on my car and get my downpipe installed. Its just something about cars that makes it a good stress reliever, like getting a massage (if you can think you it that way). Anyways I jacked up my car in my garage, then I realized I didn’t have some of the tools and my garage is so small I couldn’t get to the underside of the exhaust. But I wasn’t going to give up, so I put my downpipe in my trunk, reassembled my air intake and headed to Evolution Mufflers.

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For those of you who live in the Houston area, and you need any exhaust work, come to Evolution Mufflers in Pasadena Tx! Seriously! The owner is Manuel and a chill guy to talk to. He does very good work for a very good price. I found about this place from my other VW Houston peeps and I actually got my JDM blast pipes redone here. The shop is very clean and looks well organized.

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The install took about 2 hours, without hitting any real trouble. I forgot to bring my camera, but I just used my camera phone. The 42 Draft Designs downpipe is CCTA and CBFA compatible. My TSI motor is CCTA so it has two o2 sensors and I used the o2 sensor plug on the pre cat section. The CBFA uses three o2 sensors I believe.

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Everything fitted and lined up perfectly, no cutting or welding required. Now my exhaust is a 3″ turboback straight pipe with a high flow cat and it does sound loud!!! Honestly its a love hate thing, I love my exhaust and the sound it makes but I know some dont like a loud exhaust. I will post a vid once it stops raining and I make a camera mount.

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I kept my stock downpipe because if I dont pass inspection then I can just put my OEM downpipe back on. My stock downpipe is 2.25 in diamater and in the pic above you can see the cat is right at the turbo flange and its like a brick wall. The 42 Draft Designs is a 3″ diameter and more free flowing with less restrictions. Honestly though I didn’t feel much of a difference, the response is a bit faster but not much. Im also sure I did lose some back pressure since it is 3″ straight pipe. If I put a muffler I will get some back pressure, and gain some performance, but I will do that when I get a noise complaint or I when I want to change the tone of the exhaust. The only main difference I noticed, is the turbo spool and exhaust is a lot louder. After driving 10 miles, I did end up getting a check engine light. I scanned my car with my Vag Com and just showed a catalytic converter malfunction. So the car did recognize my high flow cat and threw a error, but its really not a big deal. I will need a stage 2 chip tune to take advantage of my downpipe/air intake combo and it will get rid of my CEL. Im thinking of going with Unitronic Stage 2 tune. I have heard good reviews about them and I would get 280HP/325TQ-LB! Now that will be a night and day difference.

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And if you are in Houston or need any exhaust work done check out Evolution Muffers! They are located at 915 Harris Rd Pasadena Tx 77506. I only paid $45 for my install and its really good work!

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